Optimal Nutrition

In order for you to be successful with eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight, we want to work with you in understanding your nutritional needs and health goals.

We offer a variety of treatment options through our comprehensive bariatric nutrition program. We believe that a strong foundation in nutrition is essential to a healthy lifestyle.

For individuals interested in our bariatric surgery program, we offer a comprehensive nutrition evaluation. Education on body composition, metabolism, physical activity and eating behaviors provides you with ‘tools’ and a strong foundation in behavior and lifestyle change.

We also know that weight loss surgery combined with optimal nutrition provides most individuals who suffer from obesity the best chance for optimizing weight loss and sustaining a lower healthy weight.

Optimal Nutrition Topics & Terms

Epigenetics / Nutrition-Phenotype

Did you know that your food choices and eating behaviors interact with your gene expression (your genetics)? How your body responds to what you eat, the amount of food that you eat, the frequency of eating and your food environment can greatly influence your risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and many more adult diseases. We will evaluate all aspects of your weight history, food environment and routine behaviors that influence your current nutritional state or what we call your “nutritional epigenetics.” If you understand how your food environment is causing weight gain, we can help you make simple changes to shed those extra pounds!


“How many calories do I burn in a day?” “Why can’t I lose weight?” We can measure how many calories you burn in a 24-hour period and tell you “why” you cannot lose weight! Your metabolism is mostly determined by your genetics, possible disease states (i.e. hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism), some medications, hormones, your diet and your body composition. By measuring your resting metabolic rate, we can work with you in making positive changes towards burning more calories and by determining the right amount of calories to consume for a sustainable healthy weight.

Physical Activity

“My joints hurt….I can’t exercise.” “My weight prevents me from enjoying life.” If improving your ‘quality of life’ is high on your priority list, then increasing your physical mobility is critical to your overall emotional and physical health. Cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength are part of our comprehensive bariatric nutrition program. We will work with you to find exercises and activities that you can do to achieve your personal health goals.


“I’m never hungry!” “I’m always hungry!” Understanding the difference between “emotional” eating and physical hunger is more complex than changing simple eating behaviors. We help you recognize emotional eating triggers, and then support you with sustainable behavior change. Addressing physical hunger requires understanding your gut hormones and learned behaviors that can control eating episodes. We will work with you on food choices, eating patterns, eating environments, and recognizing signs of true hunger versus emotional eating.

Evidence Based

We follow evidence-based bariatric and nutrition guidelines that are grounded in the scientific and medical literature. Our goal is to provide the ‘best research evidence’ with our clinical expertise, while taking into consideration your personal needs and circumstances. We strive to deliver up-to-date information on bariatric nutrition research and dietary trends

Body Composition

“I look like my mom’s side of the family!” A dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is the gold standard method we use to accurately measure your body fat mass and lean tissue mass. We use this information to identify health risks associated with excessive abdominal fat and total body fat. As you lose weight, we also look for changes in your fat and lean tissues that decrease your metabolism. As your body fat decreases, your heart, lungs, liver, pancreas and weight-bearing joints become more healthy!

Optimal Nutrition FAQs

What is the best diet to follow for weight loss?
Determining the best diet for you is complex. It depends on your phenotype, nutritional status, medications, weight-related comorbidities, body composition, hunger/satiety control, physical and social environments, food availability, etc. Caloric restrictions and macronutrient combinations for weight loss should be based on your medical needs as determined by our bariatric team.
How much weight can I lose with diet and excercise?
In general, some individuals can lose 5-10% of their total body weight through diet and exercise. Even a small weight loss (3-5%) has been shown to improve many weight-related comorbidities such as decreasing blood sugars, cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
How much weight can I lose from bariatric surgery?
Based on your gender, age, weight-related comorbidities, weight history, nutrition status and body composition, our bariatric team will recommend a weight loss surgery procedure that best fits your individual circumstances. We encourage all bariatric surgery candidates to focus on improved health and quality of life goals.
Does my insurance pay for nutrition visits?
All insurance plans vary with medical coverage, including nutrition. We recommend that you contact your insurance provider prior to scheduling your first nutrition visit, so you are aware of any potential out-of-pocket costs.
How many nutrition visits do I need before bariatric surgery?
Comprehensive education by our bariatric team prior to bariatric surgery significantly reduces the chance for nutrition and surgery-related complications. That said, each clinic appointment is essential to your success in optimizing nutrition, weight loss and in preventing hospital readmissions.